Review: 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

Monday October 13th, 2014 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

By David Colman

Hypes: Cute SR Makeover, Good Value
Gripes: Weak Motor, CVT Woes

Nissan’s SR Versa strikes a new Note for 2015. From the outside, it’s apparent the SR is no base Note. Rather, it sings a different tune thanks to its unique front and rear fascias, side skirts, mesh black grill, black headlight enclosures, and machined-spoke 6×16″ alloy rims. Inside the smoked headlight enclosures sit multi-reflector Halogen bulbs. The exterior rearview mirrors contain neatly integrated turn signal indicators, and the tail of the roof incorporates a sizeable spoiler. Inside, seats covered with simulated suede continue the sport motif with orange racing stripes and stitching. Chrome door lock plates enliven the interior, along with silver trim accents on the shift lever and instrument panel. All these cosmetic changes elevate this Note to a higher key, by reconfiguring its appearance from boring to enticing. But does its performance live up to the promise of the pomade?

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

Not quite. The sporty looking SR still utilizes the base Note’s economic 1.6 liter four, which commendably averages 35MPG in combined city/highway driving. The price you pay for such meager fuel consumption is lethargic straight line performance. With only 109hp and 107lb.-ft. of torque on tap, this engine needs special help from its gearbox to complete quick passing maneuvers, But with the SR’s “Xtronic” transmission, the overtaxed motor hardly gets any help at all. Since this continuously variable transmission lacks actual gear sets, you’re restricted to just 2 ranges of choice, Drive and Low. Drive range is relatively quiet because it keeps engine rpm low. But it also sedates power output, mandating a shift into Low range when you need extra punch. Low range does improve zip from tepid to acceptable, but at the expense of much increased noise from the suddenly high revving engine. There is no happy median between these two widely divergent conditions.

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

The gearbox conundrum stifles the performance of an otherwise nimble Versa. Ride quality for such a short wheelbase car is surprisingly posh. The 195/55R16 Bridgestone Ecopia tires are partly responsible for good bump absorption, due to their tall 55 series sidewall profile. The Note remains reassuringly level and unflustered when pressed through switchbacks. The addition of a 370Z style steering wheel, complete with dimpled leather handgrips, furthers the sporting illusion. The manually adjustable front seats feature 6 change opportunities for the driver and 4 for the passenger. The surprisingly spacious rear seats offer decent comfort, and enormous legroom considering the diminutive size of the Note. Thanks to low window sash height, the interior feels spacious rather than constricted, a notion corroborated b y the numbers: 94.1 cubic feet of interior room and 18.4 cubic feet of trunk space in this hatchback.

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

Nissan equips the SR Note with a wide variety of safety instruments, including side impact and curtain airbags, Traction Control and Vehicle Dynamic Control. Although the braking system includes anti lock technology (ABS) and electronic brake distribution (EBD), the system makes do with front discs but rear drums. We experienced mediocre brake retardation when slowing to a stop from freeway speed due to a lane closure. The pedal required more than moderate pressure to deal with this unexpected stoppage.

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

The Versa Note SR offers unquestionably good value as basic transportation. Considering its $17,530 base price, you enjoy a lot of plusses for your limited investment. It will transport four in comfort, with a full size door for each. It will duck into parking places fatter hatchbacks spurn. It will run for a week on less than half a tank of gas. What it won’t do, however, is live up to the spanking promise of its new SR dressage. For that kind of performance, the spoiler and racing stripe brigade will have to look elsewhere.

2015 Nissan Versa Note SR

  • Engine: 1.6 liter inline four
  • Horsepower: 107hp
  • Torque: 109lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 31MPG City/40MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $19,180
  • Star Rating: 7 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Nissan Versa Review – Everybody needs a dinghy

Friday August 26th, 2011 at 6:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2012 Nissan Versa sedan
By David Colman


  • Better rear legroom than a BMW 5
  • 130 lbs. less curb weight than 2011 Versa


  • About as exciting as driving an Autopia car at Disneyland

Back in the Eighties, my Dad, who lived in snow-bound Boston, needed something besides his Mercedes SL to drive during the relentless winter months. He ended up selecting a Nissan Pulsar, bought from a dealer who wryly observed that “Everybody needs a dinghy.” Basically, the 2012 Versa is today’s version of the Nissan dinghy. Like the Pulsar, the Versa is small, unprepossessing, and noisy at full chat, but eminently practical. You wouldn’t choose it as your only vehicle, but rather as a useful addendum to a well-stocked garage.

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2011 Nissan Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL Review – Economy with Benefits

Wednesday December 22nd, 2010 at 2:1212 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2011 Nissan Versa HB
By Danny Chang


  • Plenty of head room
  • Decent acceleration if you keep your foot down
  • Decent trunk space for a hatch
  • Easy access


  • Could use more power
  • Quirky Gallic styling
  • Better MPG would be nice

My first car that I drove in high school was a dark blue 1986 Nissan Sentra coupe. It had a 1.6 L engine that probably put out just over 84 HP. It was a pretty base model with an aftermarket radio that had a push button auto reverse cassette deck. It had no side view mirror on the right hand side, but hey, who needs that. It had no AC, which was a bit problematic in the SoCal summers where temperatures routinely shoot up to the high 90s and low 100s in the valleys. To kick a man when he’s down, the Sentra used to overheat regularly and I had to pump the hot air into the cabin in order to cool the engine down. What the Sentra did have, though, was a five-speed manual transmission and a smooth clutch. So I was pretty interested to see what the new econobox from Nissan is like, almost a quarter of a century later.

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Featured User Review: 2008 Nissan Versa 5-door Hatchback

Tuesday July 13th, 2010 at 8:77 AM
Posted by: mswig

2008 Nissan Versa HatchbackFeatured User Review: 2008 Nissan Versa
European car comfort for the cost of a Japanese compact car

by Martin Swig

Price Paid: $13000.00
Review Date: July 13, 2010
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5
Value Rating 5 of 5
Used product for:
2 1/2 years

After more than two and a half years and 30,000 miles of Versa ownership, I was happy to see that the rest of the world is recognizing this superb car. I’m referring to June 2010 sales of new cars in the sub-compact / small hatch category. Versa was at the top of the list, outselling Kia Soul (2nd), Chevrolet HHR and  Aveo, also Dodge Caliber, Hyundai Accent, Mini, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Scion xD.

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Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa Comparison – The New Big 3's Little 3.

Monday January 26th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

Honda Fit - Nissan Versa - Toyota Yaris

By Kurt Gensheimer

Whether or not you’ve grown up as a car buff, unless you’re a troglodyte who still walks barefoot from point A to point B, you’re probably familiar with who “The Big 3″ automakers comprise. And if you’ve watched any of the executive groveling before our esteemed panel of D.C. dunderheads we call our “leaders”, then you’re absolutely familiar with The Big 3. However in the aftermath of Toyota’s recent ascension past GM to become the number #1 selling automotive brand in the world – in addition to its involvement in NASCAR and multiple American manufacturing plants – the old Big 3 moniker may need revision to include Toyota.

And who would be “The Other 2″? Honda and Nissan seem to fit the role quite well, with similarly expanding market share and multiple U.S.-based factories. Yes, it seems that when people nowadays refer to “The Big 3″, there needs to be some level of clarification – New School or Old School?

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2008 Nissan Versa Video Review

Wednesday March 5th, 2008 at 12:33 AM
Posted by: Derek

Nissan Versa Overview Nissan Versa S Full Review
Consumer Reviews of Versa S Nissan Versa S Photo Gallery Nissan Versa S Specs

The 2008 Versa sedan is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in two trims, the 1.8 S and the 1.8 SL. The Versa S has a 6 speed manual transmission, 1.8-liter, I4, 122-horsepower engine, and is built on Nissan’s “B” platform. The Versa name reflects the “versatile space” provided by the roomy interior and cargo area.

YouTube Preview Image

>> Do you have an opinion of the Nissan Versa? Submit your consumer review of the Nissan Versa or read what others have to say at

>> See all of the Nissan Versa photos in our photo gallery

>> Overview page for the Nissan Versa – reviews, specs, and photos

>> – official website for Nissan cars and SUVs

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2008 Nissan Versa S Review – Filling the big shoes of Sentra

Friday February 22nd, 2008 at 12:22 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer


  • Sub $13K base price
  • Most interior passenger and cargo space in its class
  • Crisp, responsive steering
  • Attractive interior (automatic shifter excluded)


  • Resurrected 1st gen. Prius exterior design cues
  • Slothful 4-speed automatic
  • Tires howl louder than a pack of malnutritioned coyotes

Ruling: It’s lacks the Sentra’s sporting soul, but Nissan’s new entry-level whip makes up for it in quality and value.

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